Can You Shrink Chiffon? (How to Shrink Chiffon Fabric)

If only your body would shrink as fast as some fabrics do. Then you could drop 6 pounds in a day or two and in time for your high school reunion. But unfortunately, bodies don't react to water as some well-known clothing materials do.

Can you shrink chiffon? It is possible to shrink chiffon and if it is not made from polyester it will shrink a lot. The way to shrink chiffon the easiest is to wash it in hot water. The only problem is you can’t control how much the fabric shrinks at any given time.

To learn more about chiffon and its shrinking ability just continue to read our article. It gives you the heads up on chiffon and its distaste for water. Different chiffon materials shrink at different rates

Can You Shrink Chiffon?

You can but why would you want to. Not being able to control how much the fabric will shrink is should cause you to pause before trying to shrink the material. Silk chiffon can shrink up to and beyond one foot if you are not careful.

Other chiffon varieties shrink about 3 to 5% at best. But you will never know when you will get the 3% or that 5% reduction and the wrong one will turn up at the wrong time and shrink the wrong dress.

There are 4 good methods you can use when purposefully trying to shrink clothes. But none are guaranteed to work as you want them to. There is the pot full of boiling water method, the washing machine method, the drying method, and the hair drying method.

Take your chances when trying to shrink chiffon as not all fibers used to create the fabric are prone to shrinkage. Others are very vulnerable to that issue and should be sent out to the dry cleaners if you do not want to shrink them.

Does Polyester Chiffon Shrink?


Polyester was created to mimic certain qualities of other fabrics. Usually that mimicking lies in the areas of looks, drape, softness, and colors. The one area polyester was created not to mimic is shrinking.

This is a very tough fabric to shrink but not an impossible task to perform. While it is difficult to shrink polyester, it can be done if you try hard enough. If you can get your cleaning temperatures between 155 and 178 degrees F then you stand a good chance at shrinking this fiber.

Of course, if the temperatures are hotter in your washing machine or dryer, you should expect some shrinkage to take place. Although those higher temperatures will do other damage to the polyester so it is best to stick to the range quoted earlier.

The fastest way to shrink polyester fibers is to wash in hot water, not boiling water, and dry in the dryer on a high heat that does not exceed that 178-degree upper limit. Once done with those cycles, let the polyester cool to room temperature and check to see if any shrinkage occurred.

It may require several attempts to get the polyester to the length you want it in.

Does Chiffon Shrink in The Wash?


Yes, it can as chiffon is a very lightweight and delicate fabric to clean. Hot temperatures will reduce your chiffon garments in size but there is no guarantee that it will be in length only.

Poly chiffon should be washed on delicate and in cold water if you don't want to shrink the outfit. Crepe chiffon can shrink just be getting wet so you do not wash it at any time. Crepe chiffon is made out of rayon sop be careful.

Silk chiffon is the most delicate of all the chiffon options and it should never see the inside of a washing machine. It is a dry clean only material which may not be able to handle hand washing.

Also, silk chiffon snags easily so make sure your dry cleaners handle the fabric with lots of tender loving care. If your chiffon is made out of cotton, then expect it to shrink if you use hot water wash and the dryer to dry those garments.

How much chiffon shrinks is anyone’s guess and you can lose a little or a lot with just one washing. It will depend on the fibers used to create your dress or blouse.

Can You Put Chiffon in The Dryer?


No! The only exception would be if you are purposefully trying to shrink your nice chiffon dress and give the results to your daughter to clothe her doll collection. High heat is a no-no for chiffon especially if it is made out of rayon, silk, or other weak fabrics.

Polyester chiffon may withstand a cool dryer as polyester fibers are hard to shrink but do not turn up the heat if you want to wear that outfit soon. Expect some shrinkage if you forget and use the dryer to dry your chiffon dress, etc.

The above information only changes if the cleaning label says it is okay to wash and dry your chiffon outfits in your machines. But even then be careful as the wrong temperature may still bring some of that 3 to 5% shrink rate to those clothes as well.

Not only with chiffon but with all fabrics, you need to take those cleaning labels seriously. While some are only guidelines and you can ignore some of the instructions, that concept does not apply to all fabrics.

How to Shrink Chiffon Fabric


The easiest way, as we already mentioned, is to wash and dry those chiffon items in your washer and dryer using almost high heat. The washer and dryer take the work out of shrinking your clothes but you may not be satisfied or even happy with your results.

You can try using the boiling water in a pot on the stove method but boiling water can harden polyester fibers and make the outfit unwearable. Next up would be using your hairdryer.

That last method takes a little effort as you need to wash your clothes then set your hairdryer on its highest heat setting. After that, you have to manipulate the chiffon outfit and the hairdryer to get the method to work right.

Just remember to keep the clothes damp before trying this method. For shrinking silk or crepe it is best to not even consider that move. Silk can shrink as much as 1 foot if it wants to so you would be taking a big risk trying to shrink the clothing item on purpose.

Crepe chiffon is the same way. It is not made to be purposefully shrunk.

How to Shrink a Chiffon Dress


Again it will depend a lot on what fibers were used to make the chiffon dress. Silk does shrink easily when placed in hot water or a dryer but it can also lose its shine when exposed to high heat.

If you want to take the easy route, use a hot water wash then high heat in your dryer to get the dress down to size. Other than silk, you can expect a shrink rate of about 3 to 5% but there is no guarantee.

If you don't want a lot of shrinkages, omit the dryer step and wash your chiffon dress in hot water and hang it to dry. The hairdryer method is time-consuming although it may give you a little more control over the shrinking process.

You are only doing one section at a time so you can see your results fairly quickly. Before you do any of these methods, ask yourself why you are doing it when there is no safety feature stopping the shrinking process at the point you want it to stop.

The easiest way to shrink your clothes is to go out and buy some new ones in a smaller size.

Some Things to Consider

Before you start remember that different fabrics react differently to the same shrinking methods and conditions. Chiffon is made from different fabrics and what works for one style may not work for the others.

  • 1. Boiling water method - cotton shrinks the fastest and can bleed color. Silk will be the quickest to shrink but... polyester may need several baths to shrink.
  • 2. The washer & dryer method - silk is not good here as the damage goes beyond the shrinking factor. Polyester may also be damaged in different ways and look worn out. Cotton is not made for high heat settings either.
  • 3. The hairdryer method - works best for all fabrics as long as you follow simple rules.

Some Final Words

Chiffon can be a very delicate fabric depending on what materials are used to create it. The shrink factor may make you jealous and wonder why you can’t lose your size as easily and quickly as chiffon can. Bodies just aren’t made like fabrics.

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